Ding dong the lockout is might be dead!
NBA players and club owners met for a third consecutive day on Friday after having moved closer to a new contract that could set the stage for a full season of 82 games per team to be played.
Negotiators had met for 15 hours in a session that ended early Thursday morning and for half as long Thursday afternoon, making progress on salary cap issues as they try to agree on how to split $4 billion in annual revenues.
“I think we’re within reach and within striking distance of getting a deal,” NBA players union executive director Billy Hunter said.
“It’s just a question of how receptive the NBA is and whether or not they want to do a deal.”
NBA commissioner David Stern has already called off the first 100 games of the 2011-2012 season and has said that it will take at least four weeks to start the season once a deal is done, effectively meaning all of November is already lost.
Salvaging the remainder of the season, with the possibility of wedging missed games into the remaining time to avoid revenue losses for owners or players, is a possibility but one that diminishes with every hour that passes.
“There are no guarantees that we’ll get it done, but we’re going to give it one heck of a shot,” Stern said. “I think Billy and the union’s negotiators feel the same way. I know that ours do.”
So what if we don’t get games in November? Nobody really misses basketball until the NFL season is over anyway. We can do without it. Still, it’s nice to know progress is being made. Hopefully by the time we see you again on Monday, we’ll have an NBA schedule locked in.